Long before there was AA and its spiritual predecessor The Oxford Group, there was a forerunner, Christian Science. The early pioneers of AA and Al-Anon found God. The early AA’s gathered in homes and studied the Bible. They got sober using biblical principles. “I got religion,” said Ebby to Bill Wilson.
AA and Al-anon are now a mix of applied psychology and a generic higher power thinking. The task for recovery is to engage your higher power, to hand it over daily and pray only for His will. In Al-anon we pray daily for conscious contact with God. In meetings pray the short Serenity Prayer and sometimes the Lord’s Prayer. Beyond this there’s no technology for prayer in Al-anon groups.
Prayer is a lost art. Prayer is a pro-active tool for recovery. Prayer in Christian Science is simple. Christian Science ideas on prayer can be applied in Al-anon. Taking action through prayer counters feeling powerless. It counters the notion that there’s nothing you can can do for “the alcoholic”.
Christian Science is about the healing presence of Truth. It’s about a reality that the scriptures teach that’s all God and all Good. Human life doesn’t seem that way because we rely on our finite and fallible mortal senses for data. Einstein said “Logic gets you from A to B and imagination gets you to infinity.”
Science recognizes that our thoughts impact people and events even from a distance. If you feel hopeless or powerless, like nothing you can do will change anything, an action you can take is elevate the mental atmosphere through prayer. You do it done by thinking highly positive thoughts about the other person.
Here’s how I pray for an alcoholic in my life. On page 475 of “Science and Health” by Mary Baker Eddy is a definition of Man. I pray this idea as a healing formula. I use it like a mental acupuncture needle. I send my thought into the Universe. Here’s how to do it. Write out the definition. Substitute your loved one’s name for the word man. I used a made up name in the example below.
Substitute the personal name in only in as many places that sound right so the meaning stays fluent. Add the word God, or Higher Power, in the beginning and it becomes prayerful. That’s how God is worked into the Serenity Prayer. The proclamation. Dear God, makes it a prayer.
Any person we pray for is beyond identity of a personal name. But since we think of our loved ones by their name it’s right to address then in prayer by name.
The definition of Man formula counters any negative model or notion that God is limited or that His creation, your loved one, is terminally bound by a forever mortal illness. Prayer activates positive energy that destructs malicious labels and set up in the mental field.
(God grant me the wisdom to know:) “MAN: Angela is not matter; she is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. The scriptures inform us that Angela is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Angela is spiritual and perfect; and because she is spiritual and perfect, she must be so understood in Christian Science. Angela is idea, the image of Love; she is not physique. She is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God’s image and likeness, the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which Angela is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of her own, but reflects spiritually all things that belong to her Maker.
And God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Angela is incapable of sin, sickness, and death. The real Angela cannot depart from holiness, nor can God, by whom Angela is evolved, engender the capacity or freedom to sin. A mortal sinner is not God’s man. Mortals are the counterfeits of immortals. They are the children of the wicked one, or the one evil, which declares that Angela begins in dust or as material embryo. In divine Science, God and the real Angela are inseparable as divine Principle and idea.
Error, urged to its final limits, is self-destroyed. Error will cease to claim that soul is in body, that life and intelligence are in matter, and that matter is in Man. God is the Principle of Angela and Angela is the idea of God. Hence Angela is not mortal nor material. Mortals will disappear, and immortals, or the children of God, will appear as the only eternal verities of man. Mortals are not fallen children of God. They never had a perfect state of being, which may be subsequently regained, They were from the beginning of mortal history “conceived in sin and brought forth in inequity.” Mortality is finally swallowed up in immortality. Sin, sickness, and death must disappear to give place to the facts which belong to immortal man.
Learn this, O mortal, and earnestly seek the spiritual status of man, which is outside all material selfhood. Remember that the scriptures say of mortal man: “As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower in the field so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.”
When speaking of God’s children, not the children of men, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you;” that is, Truth and Love reign in the real Angela, showing that Angela in God’s image is unfallen and eternal. Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Savior saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. This Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is not a material habitation for Soul; he is himself spiritual. Soul, being Spirit, is seen in nothing imperfect nor material.
Whatever is material is mortal. To the five corporal senses, Angela appears to be matter and mind united; but Christian Science reveals Angela as the idea of God, and declares the corporeal senses to be mortal and erring illusions. Divine Science shows it to be impossible that a material body, though interwoven with matter’s highest stratum, misnamed mind, should be Angela, — the genuine and perfect Angela, the immortal idea of being, indestructible and eternal. Were it otherwise, man would be annihilated.